What are the costs of promoting a book?
Are you stuck wondering how much to budget for promoting and marketing your book? You’re not alone. Just looking around the internet at ways to do book promotion, it seems you could feasilby spend hundreds of dollars every month. But don’t be fooled – you don’t have to spend a fortune marketing your book
Since here are so many ways to promote a book judging the cost is difficult. For the sake of this article, I will focus on the costs of what I believe are the most effective book promotion techniques.
Effective Book Promotion
The best ways also happen to be the least expensive if you can do the work yourself. The techniques I recommend are:
- Writing articles / blog posts
- Press release
- Social media
You’re probably not surprised by any of those. Yet, most authors look right past those methods and search instead for the ‘new’ easy way to sell thousands of books. The reality is that those hot new methods are expensive and the results are far from stellar for most people.
Why are these the methods I recommend? First, because the work. Second, because they are cost effective. Third, because they tend to stick around on the internet and work for you week after week, month after month, year after year. You simply have to do the work once and then you have a perpetual book promotion piece doing work for you for years to come.
What Is Required to Support Your Book Promotion
Using the methods outlined above as the guide for what to do I want to talk about the infrastructure you need to put those in action.
Probably the most important tool in your toolbox is a website. You can post articles, blog posts, videos, audios, and even link your social media to a website. Without getting off on a tangent here, I will say that your best off with an author website over a book website. One author can produce many books and why not leverage the traffic from your last series of book promotions to launch your next book?
The other methods don’t require the same infrastructure like a website does. However, you may find that you want professionally designed graphics for your website and other social media presences.
How Much You Can Expect to Pay
For a website you need a domain name (the address of your site) and web hosting. Plan to use WordPress for the site – which is free.
Cost for the site: $10 / year for domain; $10 / month for hosting.
Video is something you can do for free or you can expect to pay for. If you want video but don’t have the budget for it, consider using YouTube’s own video creation tools. All you have to do is log in to your Google account and set up a Channel for your videos (you can have many channels). Inside the Channel page, you’ll see options for recording slide show videos with your narrating or with a musical background.
Of course, you can pay to have video done for you. For book promotion, I do not recommend spending more than $150 on a video. You will see offers that cost as much as $3,500. You don’t need a television quality commercial. Instead, you just need to reach those people that are consuming their content through video instead of reading.
Cost: Free to $150 per video
A press release is one of the most effective tools besides your website. I place it in this list after video because many press release services will let you include a video (or link to your video trailer) in the document. The difference in cost between press release services largely has to do with the list of media contacts they have and who they will send your release to. Basically, the more you pay, the more media outlets will see your release. It is questionable whether you really get more from a book promotion standpoint for paying for a more expensive press release service.
Cost: $30 (Webwire) to $300 (PRWeb)
Social media shouldn’t cost you anything unless you want to pay to have some professionally designed graphics for your backgrounds and headers. Having a professional look is a good idea. But if you are tight on funds, try Fiverr for your design work.
Cost: Free to $100 for design work
The last cost I want to discuss is outsourcing. Not everyone has the time or desire to write articles, blog posts, and social media posts. You may be in that boat too. Don’t worry, it does not mean you will be unable to promote your book. Instead, you should plan to pay someone else to do it for you.
Cost: Articles / blog posts $60 – 100 / month for 4 – 5 articles
Social media: $50 – 75 / month for 20 + social media posts
There are dozens of ways to promote your book but if you focus your work on the core techniques of writing content for articles, blog posts, creating videos, doing a press release, and using social media, you effectively promote your book without spending a fortune.